The title-element, also called title-tag, is one of the most important factors when it comes to the OnPage optimisation of a website. Together with the meta-description, the website’s title can also influence the CTR (Click-Through-Rate) of a result within Google’s search engine result pages.
Title Tag meaning and useage
The content of a title-element is interpreted by web browsers, as well as search engines, and is used for:
- being displayed in the web browser in the title of the display window
- being displayed in the web browser as the name of the tab
- placing bookmarks within the web browser
- the visited pages that are shown in the web browser
- the page title, which is shown within the search results by search-engines
The title element is a ranking factor
Optimising the title-elements is part of the so-called “SEO Basics”.
Title-element markup in the source-code
The title element is marked as follows in the source code of an HTML document:
A filled out title-element would look like this:
<title>I'm a meaningful title</title>
The title-element on the search engine result pages
In most cases, Google will show the title-tag as the headline for a result in the search engine result pages (SERPs). If no title-tag is set, then Google has to try to create one based on other signals, like link texts (anchor texts) from the linking pages.
The title-element as an SEO source for errors
When you use the title-element, there are a number of mistakes which show up time and time again. Here are the most common SEO errors when it comes to the title-element:
- not assigning a title at all
- all URLs have the same title
- the keyword is not included in the title
- the keyword is not located at the beginning of the title (this is a heavily weighted ranking factor)
- the content of the title is too long
- the title is not optimised (for the user)
Video explanation by Matt Cutts / Google on the subject
Should I tweak my titles and descriptions to improve my CTR?